Domaine Schlumberger sensations

Thomas Schlumberger (Photo: Bob Campbell MW)

This distinguished Alsace producer makes wine only from grapes grown in its own 140-hectare vineyard situated on a hillside with great southerly exposure. In 1983 when Alsace officially recognised superior “Grand Cru” vineyard sites, only 25 sites were identified (today that number has expanded to 51 Grand Cru sites). Four of those sites were within Schlumberger’s 140-hectare estate. They are the Kitterlé, Kessler, Saering and Spiegel vineyards representing half of Schlumberger’s total estate.

Schlumberger maintains concentration in its wine by limiting yields, which average a modest 45 hl/ha for the entire estate. 30-hectares are farmed biodynamically.

I was impressed with the range of their wines tasted with Thomas Schlumberger during his brief visit to New Zealand.

The 2014 Domaine Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés Pinot Blanc is, in fact, a 50/50 blend of pinot blanc and auxerrois blanc (wine labelled ”Pinot Blanc” in Alsace may consist of auxerrois blanc, pinot blanc, pinot gris and pinot noir vinified as a white wine). Auxerrois apparently contributes flavour while pinot blanc gives the wine it’s punchy acidity. There is growing interest in pinot blanc locally, but good and reasonably priced Alsace wines like this may affect the viability of the home-grown product. (NZD $24.99)

2014 Domaine Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés Pinot Gris is an off-dry and deliciously fruity wine that I also thought represented excellent value. It’s moderately rich and spicy, with fresh acidity helping promote a lengthy and drying finish. (NZD $24.99)

The 2014 Domaine Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés Gewürztraminer was my favourite of the “Les Princes Abbés” range (all of which are sealed with screwcaps). It’s a deliciously drinkable rich and opulent wine, with masses of varietal floral and spice flavours. (NZD $41)

2009 Domaine Schlumberger Grand Cru Kessler Riesling was my clear favourite. Made from vines over 50-years old, it’s a big, opulent and very complex wine in prime drinking condition. A real treat for riesling lovers. (NZD $47)

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